The Health News – 05 November 2015

Overview:
• Tasmanian doctors are calling on the Federal Government to rule out introducing tax on healthcare services if the GST is broadened. On a state level, both major parties and the Greens have also voiced their opposition to any change that would see health services taxed.

• Dr Bill McNeil Australian doctor who was one of the heroes in the aftermath of the Bali bombings has struggled to get life insurance and has been refused income protection because of the post traumatic stress he experienced after the attack.

• A Japanese university has revoked a doctoral degree awarded to a Haruko Obokata a young researcher embroiled in a scandal that has rocked the scientific establishment. He drew intense media scrutiny after failing to reproduce the results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 5th November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-04/health-care-must-remain-gst-free-rural-doctors-warn/6910194

Tasmanian doctors are calling on the Federal Government to rule out introducing tax on healthcare services if the GST is broadened.

On a state level, both major parties and the Greens have also voiced their opposition to any change that would see health services taxed.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said … health was originally excluded from the GST for “very practical reasons” and “those practical issues remain as challenging as they were back then”.

Tasmanian GP and immediate past president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) Dennis Pashen said taxing health services would make it even harder for vulnerable people to afford care.

“Pre-emptively we’re saying to the Government, ‘Reconsider the GST if you have to, but for Pete’s sake leave health care out of the GST,” he said.

Dr Pashen said people in rural areas died younger and were sicker than people in metropolitan areas.

He said one-third of Tasmanians lived rurally and struggled to access services.

“There’s significant barriers to access to care,” he said.

“There’s a downturn in the rural sector in Tasmania, with losses in forestry, mining and agricultural industry in Tasmania that have social impacts,” he said.

“So anything that pushes up the cost of health care within a rural area will impact on access to care.”

He said if access to health care became more expensive, people would not seek primary intervention and they would get sicker and the cost of treating them would rise.

“It does impact downstream by causing more complications of chronic disease, more hospital admissions with more severe levels of illness,” he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-03/doctor-who-helped-after-bali-bombing-struggles-to-get-insurance/6909702

An Australian doctor who was one of the heroes in the aftermath of the Bali bombings has struggled to get life insurance and has been refused income protection because of the post traumatic stress he experienced after the attack.

Dr Bill McNeil was on a surfing holiday in Bali in 2002 and was one of the first medical staff on the scene after the Sari Club exploded.

“I was actually running late to meet some of my friends at the club when the bomb went off,” Dr McNeil told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

His training kicked in and he went straight into the blast zone to see if he could help.

“It was terrible,” he said.

“There were hundreds, if not thousands of people streaming past, covered in blood, glass, collapsing buildings, flames.”

Dr McNeil worked all night at the hospital, saving those he could.

“We were able to get IV fluids and morphine into people,” he said.

“We are able to get a system going where we could keep people resuscitated — basically holding the fort until people came.”

It was on his return to Australia that Dr McNeil’s mental problems began.

“I had a lot of images going through my mind constantly, what they call flashbacks, and I was very disturbed,” he said.

After six months Dr McNeil quit his job and sought professional help.

With treatment, his condition began to improve.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-03/japanese-scientist-stripped-of-doctorate-over-stem-cell-scandal/6909610

A Japanese university has revoked a doctoral degree awarded to a young researcher embroiled in a scandal that has rocked the scientific establishment.

Haruko Obokata, 32, drew intense media scrutiny after failing to reproduce the results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells.

Last year Waseda University told her to correct her thesis, which it said contained copyright infringements and other flaws.

University president Kaoru Kamata announced the degree revocation on Monday after Ms Obokata missed an October 31 deadline.

Ms Obokata reportedly opposed the revocation, saying she was considering bringing the case to court.

In January 2014, Japan’s Riken Institute hailed Ms Obokata’s study into re-programming adult cells to work like stem cells.

The Harvard-trained Ms Obokata became a scientific phenomenon.

But doubts emerged about her papers on Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP).

Mistakes were discovered in some data published in two papers, photograph captions were found to be misleading, and the work itself could not be replicated by other scientists.

Then Ms Obokata herself failed to reproduce the successful conversion of an adult cell into a stem cell-like state …

The failure, which led to her resignation from Riken, marked a stunning fall from grace … whose co-researcher died by suicide amid the scandal.

Riken later formally dismissed her study.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!